Working in Guernsey August 2010

I was really pleased to be asked by Angel Interiors to work as part of a team of specialist painters for six weeks during the summer of 2010 in Guernsey.I really enjoyed working with fellow paint finishers and gilders; it made a change for me! I hope that I can occasionally subcontract myself out again to other larger specialist decorating firms in the not too distant future.

The Project

An extensive turnkey refurbishment was being carried out on a beautiful Victorian villa which was located on the eastern side of the island.It stood in 35 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the sea.

All walls and ceilings had been lime plastered and a base coat of dead flat emulsion paint had been applied. All wooden panelling,doors,architraves and skirtings had been painted with an acyrlic eggshell.

Our paint finishing work covered 14 rooms in the main house including the large expanse of 3 floors of staircase and landing walls. We were to produce a subtle aged paint effect to take the newness off the freshly applied base colours.

As a decorative painter I find I get asked alot for aged/distressed/antique paint finishes. However,the real problem with aged and distressed paint finishes is that, too often they can look contrived or themed (and quite frankly, naff!);not a look you'd want in a tastefully decorated home!

The art of good paint finishing I think is to have an eye for such details and nuances; on this particular job we tried to give the most natural and authentic lived in look as we could. What on the face of things seems a relatively simple effect to produce,requires observation and sympathectic handling.

We couldn't use any synthectic acrylic scumble glazes as the designers didn't want any sheen whatsoever. All surfaces had to be dead flat matt. Its worth mentioning here that any 'dead flat' varnishes,even labelled so, will still give a certain amount of sheen.